Shimon Peres, who died on Wednesday, with the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in Gaza on October 13, 1998 file photo. Reuters
Shimon Peres, who died on Wednesday, with the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in Gaza on October 13, 1998 file photo. Reuters

Israeli ex-president Shimon Peres dies



JERUSALEM // Shimon Peres, a former Israeli president and prime minister, whose life story mirrored that of the Jewish state, died early on Wednesday. He was 93.

Peres won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for his role in negotiating the Oslo accords, which envisioned an independent Palestinian state.

News of Peres’ death was met with an outpouring of tributes from western leaders, who praised him as a statesman. In the Arab World and particularly the Palestinians, Peres was a deeply controversial figure.

While Peres received some praise in the region for his role in a now defunct peace process, he will also be remembered for his hawkish early years when he played a leading role in the formation of the Israeli state on Palestinian land and the ensuing series of conflicts with Arab countries.

He oversaw a war in Lebanon while he was prime minister in 1996 in which dozens of civilians were killed in an Israeli artillery strike. Peres spearheaded the development of Israel’s secret nuclear programme, cementing the state’s military dominance in the region.

Perhaps most unforgivable for Palestinians, was that he allowed settlement construction to continue on illegally occupied Palestinian land during his years in leadership positions.

In Israel, Peres was seen as the elder statesman of Israeli politics, one of the country’s most admired leaders and the last surviving link to its founding fathers.

He suffered a debilitating stroke on September 13 and had remained in hospital since then.

His son, Chemi, announced his death outside the hospital on Wednesday morning.

“Our father’s legacy has always been to look to tomorrow,” he said. “We were privileged to be part of his private family, but today we sense that the entire nation of Israel and the global community share this great loss.”

Barack Obama described Peres as a man who represented “the essence of Israel itself”.

“There are few people who we share this world with who change the course of human history, not just through their role in human events, but because they expand our moral imagination and force us to expect more of ourselves. My friend Shimon was one of those people,” he said.

In a seven-decade political career, Peres filled nearly every position in Israeli public life and led the country through some of its defining moments, from creating its nuclear arsenal in the 1950s, to disentangling its troops from Lebanon and rescuing its economy from triple-digit inflation in the 1980s, to guiding a sceptical nation into peace talks with the Palestinians in the 1990s.

Shimon Perski was born on August 2, 1923, in Vishneva, then part of Poland. He moved to pre-state Palestine in 1934 with his immediate family. His grandfather and other relatives stayed behind and were killed in the Holocaust. Rising quickly through Labor Party ranks, he became a top aide and protégé to Israel’s founding father David Ben-Gurion.

Peres led the defence ministry in his 20s and spearheaded the development of Israel’s secret nuclear programme, which remains outside of international oversight.

He was first elected to parliament in 1959 and later held every major Cabinet post — including defence, finance and foreign affairs — and served three brief stints as prime minister. His key role in the first Israeli-Palestinian peace accord earned him a Nobel Peace Prize and status as Israel’s then most recognisable figure abroad.

And yet, for much of his political career he could not parlay his international prestige into success in Israeli politics, where he was branded by many as both a utopian dreamer and political schemer. He suffered a string of electoral defeats: competing in five general elections seeking the prime minister’s spot, he lost four and tied one.

He finally secured the public adoration that had long eluded him when he was chosen by parliament to a seven-year term as Israel’s ceremonial president in 2007, taking the role of elder statesman.

Peres was celebrated by doves and vilified by hawks for advocating Israeli compromises for peace even before he negotiated the first interim accord with the Palestinians in 1993 that set into motion a partition plan that gave them limited self-rule. That was followed by a peace accord with Jordan.

But after a fateful six-month period in 1995-96 that included prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination, a spate of Palestinian suicide bombings and Peres’ own election loss to the more conservative Benjamin Netanyahu, the prospects for peace began to evaporate.

Relegated to the political wilderness, he created his non-governmental Peres Center for Peace that raised funds for cooperation and development projects involving Israel, the Palestinians and Arab nations. He returned to it at age 91 when he completed his term as president.

Officials said that Peres’ body would lie in state at the Knesset, or parliament, on Thursday. His funeral was set for Friday at Mount Herzl, the national cemetery in Jerusalem.

Israel’s foreign ministry said Mr Obama, the Clintons, Britain’s Prince Charles and French President Francois Hollande were among those who were expected to attend.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Peres as a “man of vision” and convened his Cabinet for a special meeting.

“As a man of security, he fortified Israel’s strength in many ways, some of which even today are still unknown,” he said. “As a man of peace, he worked until his final days toward reconciling with our neighbours for a better future for our children.”

* Agencies

ETFs explained

Exhchange traded funds are bought and sold like shares, but operate as index-tracking funds, passively following their chosen indices, such as the S&P 500, FTSE 100 and the FTSE All World, plus a vast range of smaller exchanges and commodities, such as gold, silver, copper sugar, coffee and oil.

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There are thousands to choose from, with the five biggest providers BlackRock’s iShares range, Vanguard, State Street Global Advisors SPDR ETFs, Deutsche Bank AWM X-trackers and Invesco PowerShares.

if you go

The flights

Etihad, Emirates and Singapore Airlines fly direct from the UAE to Singapore from Dh2,265 return including taxes. The flight takes about 7 hours.

The hotel

Rooms at the M Social Singapore cost from SG $179 (Dh488) per night including taxes.

The tour

Makan Makan Walking group tours costs from SG $90 (Dh245) per person for about three hours. Tailor-made tours can be arranged. For details go to www.woknstroll.com.sg

Januzaj's club record

Manchester United 50 appearances, 5 goals

Borussia Dortmund (loan) 6 appearances, 0 goals

Sunderland (loan) 25 appearances, 0 goals

THE BIO

Favourite car: Koenigsegg Agera RS or Renault Trezor concept car.

Favourite book: I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes or Red Notice by Bill Browder.

Biggest inspiration: My husband Nik. He really got me through a lot with his positivity.

Favourite holiday destination: Being at home in Australia, as I travel all over the world for work. It’s great to just hang out with my husband and family.

 

 

Cricket World Cup League 2

UAE results
Lost to Oman by eight runs
Beat Namibia by three wickets
Lost to Oman by 12 runs
Beat Namibia by 43 runs

UAE fixtures
Free admission. All fixtures broadcast live on icc.tv

Tuesday March 15, v PNG at Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Friday March 18, v Nepal at Dubai International Stadium
Saturday March 19, v PNG at Dubai International Stadium
Monday March 21, v Nepal at Dubai International Stadium

Forced Deportations

While the Lebanese government has deported a number of refugees back to Syria since 2011, the latest round is the first en-mass campaign of its kind, say the Access Center for Human Rights, a non-governmental organization which monitors the conditions of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

“In the past, the Lebanese General Security was responsible for the forced deportation operations of refugees, after forcing them to sign papers stating that they wished to return to Syria of their own free will. Now, the Lebanese army, specifically military intelligence, is responsible for the security operation,” said Mohammad Hasan, head of ACHR.
In just the first four months of 2023 the number of forced deportations is nearly double that of the entirety of 2022.

Since the beginning of 2023, ACHR has reported 407 forced deportations – 200 of which occurred in April alone.

In comparison, just 154 people were forcfully deported in 2022.

Violence

Instances of violence against Syrian refugees are not uncommon.

Just last month, security camera footage of men violently attacking and stabbing an employee at a mini-market went viral. The store’s employees had engaged in a verbal altercation with the men who had come to enforce an order to shutter shops, following the announcement of a municipal curfew for Syrian refugees.
“They thought they were Syrian,” said the mayor of the Nahr el Bared municipality, Charbel Bou Raad, of the attackers.
It later emerged the beaten employees were Lebanese. But the video was an exemplary instance of violence at a time when anti-Syrian rhetoric is particularly heated as Lebanese politicians call for the return of Syrian refugees to Syria.

Law 41.9.4 of men’s T20I playing conditions

The fielding side shall be ready to start each over within 60 seconds of the previous over being completed.
An electronic clock will be displayed at the ground that counts down seconds from 60 to zero.
The clock is not required or, if already started, can be cancelled if:
• A new batter comes to the wicket between overs.
• An official drinks interval has been called.
• The umpires have approved the on field treatment of an injury to a batter or fielder.
• The time lost is for any circumstances beyond the control of the fielding side.
• The third umpire starts the clock either when the ball has become dead at the end of the previous over, or a review has been completed.
• The team gets two warnings if they are not ready to start overs after the clock reaches zero.
• On the third and any subsequent occasion in an innings, the bowler’s end umpire awards five runs.

Company profile

Company name: Suraasa

Started: 2018

Founders: Rishabh Khanna, Ankit Khanna and Sahil Makker

Based: India, UAE and the UK

Industry: EdTech

Initial investment: More than $200,000 in seed funding

RedCrow Intelligence Company Profile

Started: 2016

Founders: Hussein Nasser Eddin, Laila Akel, Tayeb Akel 

Based: Ramallah, Palestine

Sector: Technology, Security

# of staff: 13

Investment: $745,000

Investors: Palestine’s Ibtikar Fund, Abu Dhabi’s Gothams and angel investors

Some of Darwish's last words

"They see their tomorrows slipping out of their reach. And though it seems to them that everything outside this reality is heaven, yet they do not want to go to that heaven. They stay, because they are afflicted with hope." - Mahmoud Darwish, to attendees of the Palestine Festival of Literature, 2008

His life in brief: Born in a village near Galilee, he lived in exile for most of his life and started writing poetry after high school. He was arrested several times by Israel for what were deemed to be inciteful poems. Most of his work focused on the love and yearning for his homeland, and he was regarded the Palestinian poet of resistance. Over the course of his life, he published more than 30 poetry collections and books of prose, with his work translated into more than 20 languages. Many of his poems were set to music by Arab composers, most significantly Marcel Khalife. Darwish died on August 9, 2008 after undergoing heart surgery in the United States. He was later buried in Ramallah where a shrine was erected in his honour.

Switching sides

Mahika Gaur is the latest Dubai-raised athlete to attain top honours with another country.

Velimir Stjepanovic (Serbia, swimming)
Born in Abu Dhabi and raised in Dubai, he finished sixth in the final of the 2012 Olympic Games in London in the 200m butterfly final.

Jonny Macdonald (Scotland, rugby union)
Brought up in Abu Dhabi and represented the region in international rugby. When the Arabian Gulf team was broken up into its constituent nations, he opted to play for Scotland instead, and went to the Hong Kong Sevens.

Sophie Shams (England, rugby union)
The daughter of an English mother and Emirati father, Shams excelled at rugby in Dubai, then after attending university in the UK played for England at sevens.

FIVE TRENDS THAT WILL SHAPE UAE BANKING

• The digitisation of financial services will continue

• Managing and using data effectively will become a competitive advantage

• Digitisation will require continued adjustment of operating models

• Banks will expand their role in the customer life through ecosystems

• The structure of the sector will change

CHATGPT ENTERPRISE FEATURES

• Enterprise-grade security and privacy

• Unlimited higher-speed GPT-4 access with no caps

• Longer context windows for processing longer inputs

• Advanced data analysis capabilities

• Customisation options

• Shareable chat templates that companies can use to collaborate and build common workflows

• Analytics dashboard for usage insights

• Free credits to use OpenAI APIs to extend OpenAI into a fully-custom solution for enterprises

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

WORLD CUP SEMI-FINALS

England v New Zealand (Saturday, 12pm)

Wales v South Africa (Sunday, 1pm)

Race card

5pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m; 5.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m

6pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m; 6.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

7pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 2,200m

7.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (PA) 1,400m

TOUCH RULES

Touch is derived from rugby league. Teams consist of up to 14 players with a maximum of six on the field at any time.

Teams can make as many substitutions as they want during the 40 minute matches.

Similar to rugby league, the attacking team has six attempts - or touches - before possession changes over.

A touch is any contact between the player with the ball and a defender, and must be with minimum force.

After a touch the player performs a “roll-ball” - similar to the play-the-ball in league - stepping over or rolling the ball between the feet.

At the roll-ball, the defenders have to retreat a minimum of five metres.

A touchdown is scored when an attacking player places the ball on or over the score-line.

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League quarter-final (first-leg score):

Juventus (1) v Ajax (1), Tuesday, 11pm UAE

Match will be shown on BeIN Sports

SHAITTAN

Director: Vikas Bahl
Starring: Ajay Devgn, R. Madhavan, Jyothika, Janaki Bodiwala
Rating: 3/5


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